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Deuterium question

  1. Mar 14, 2017 #1
    I think I read that Deuterium was 1 in 6194k hydrogen molecules in SEA water. Is there a difference in the water I pump in my well water at home? Just curious because it seems well mixed.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 14, 2017 #2
    I intended 1 in 6194 molecules of hydrogen, as appose to 1 in 6194k molecules. Oops
  4. Mar 14, 2017 #3


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    Are you asking if the deuterium abundance in one's well water is the same or different from seawater?

    The probably should be close given that groundwater, water in streams and rivers, and water in lakes and oceans cycle through each other. Water evaporates from bodies of water such as oceans, lakes, rivers, etc. and precipitates as rain. The rain falls over the aforementioned bodies of water as well as on land. Water on land drains into streams, lakes and rivers, and into groundwater reservoirs or aquifers. The deuterium is well mixed.

    The Wikipedia article on deuterium indicates that the abundance may vary locally. "The abundance of deuterium changes slightly from one kind of natural water to another (see Vienna Standard Mean Ocean Water)." from the introduction at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deuterium
    See also - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deuterium#Abundance
  5. Mar 15, 2017 #4
    And the isotopes are fractionated. The vapour that evaporates from bodies of water has different deuterium content than water left behind in the body. The water precipitated as rain has different deuterium content than vapour left behind in air.
  6. Mar 15, 2017 #5


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    Yes, but the ratio is 1 D atom per 6419 or 6420 atoms, and the atoms are usually combined as in HDO. The ratio should be much the same in ocean, clouds, groundwater.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  7. Mar 15, 2017 #6
    It isn´t. HDO is heavier than H2O, and more importantly gives one stronger hydrogen bond.
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